THE row that has erupted over the future funding of the SAFE Centre is extremely worrying.

The pioneering centre looks after victims of rape and sexual assault from across Lancashire as they try to cope with the terrible crimes committed against them.

It provides men, women and children with immediate medical help, counselling, forensic examinations and the ability to give anonymous evidence on one site following a sexual offence.

Currently it is only funded by the police and hospital trusts.

But going forward the police want to pay for only the evidence-gathering work, the hospital for the overheads, with the county’s primary care trusts meeting the healthcare costs.

The police say they are committed to the centre but concerns have been expressed that if the funding cannot be sorted out it could close.

Ironically all the health trusts and police are ultimately paid for by the tax payer.

These public bodies need to reach an agreement as soon as possible to secure the future of this facility.

The services and support it provides are far too valuable to be put at risk because of money.